Handloading for the .308 Saiga

The place for general discussion about guns, gun (and gun parts) technology discussion, gun reviews, and gun specific range reports; and shooting, training, techniques, reviews and reports.
Post Reply
User avatar
Netpackrat
Posts: 13091
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:15 am

Not too shabby for an inaccurate, AK-47 rifle made by drunk Russians for conscripted peasant soldiers:

Image

That was my first group of the day, shot at 100 yards from a lead sled. Rifle is a 16" converted Saiga .308 with RSA adjustable trigger group, and mounting an 8x PSOP Russian scope on the side rail mount. Ammo is PRVI Partisan brass stuffed with [strike]RL-19[/strike] RL-15 and topped with a 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip.

The rest of the story: That was my best group of the day, and was just abve the starting load given in the Nosler manual. Increasing the powder charge opened the groups up to between 3 and 4 inches. Clearly, the bore is capable of throwing this bullet with excellent accuracy, but I'm not willing to give up that much velocity, so for now I am going to stick with these bullets, and try another powder or two.
Last edited by Netpackrat on Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

rightisright
Posts: 4286
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:41 pm

Re: Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by rightisright » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:52 pm

Not too shabby at all. Have you shot any commercial or mil-surp through it yet?

User avatar
mousegun
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm

Re: Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by mousegun » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:59 pm

RL-19?????? Are you sure? Your target says 41.0 gr RL-15. With a group like that from a ComBloc weapon, I would make sure my notes were correct.

User avatar
Netpackrat
Posts: 13091
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:45 pm

mousegun wrote:RL-19?????? Are you sure? Your target says 41.0 gr RL-15. With a group like that from a ComBloc weapon, I would make sure my notes were correct.
You're right, it was -15. I also tested some loads for my 7mm-08 using -19. I got shitty groups from that rifle too, but with no good ones using a 145 grain Grand Slam. I'm going to try some different bullets in the 7mm, and I'm going to switch to a faster powder in both rifles. My current theory is with the short barrels of both rifles, the charges aren't even close to completely burning. I think that is why the .308 grouped OK with a lesser charge.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

User avatar
Netpackrat
Posts: 13091
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:52 pm

rightisright wrote:Not too shabby at all. Have you shot any commercial or mil-surp through it yet?
The PRVI factory ammo yields typical AK groups. It put Federal 180 grain soft points (blue box) into less than two inches. I bought some PMC South Korean to test my 20 round magazines with, but I haven't tried it yet. Tried some Pakistani once, and it sucked. I've mostly stayed away from Surplus other than that, because the cost difference in .308 around here really isn't enough to justify buying anything that I can't reload.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

User avatar
Netpackrat
Posts: 13091
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Handloading for the .308 Saiga

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:23 am

Well, I loaded up the rest of the box of NBTs with BLC-2 powder, but the accuracy was not so great. They went across the chronograph at an average of 2490 fps. I'm going to change out the scope to eliminate the possibility that something came loose internally, and I have some 150 grain Sierra Gamekings that I am going to try next. Powder used will be either BLC-2 or Varget, possibly some of each.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Aesop

Post Reply